The SGCC Top Ten Recipe List of 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012


First of all, I’d like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! That, and lots and lots of cupcakes!   I thank you all for taking the time to stop by and visit from time to time.  I may not articulate it enough, but your continued support, feedback and friendship over these past five years means the world to me.   We’ve been through a lot together, and I appreciate you, dear Readers.  I truly do. 

As I prepare to say goodbye  to 2012, I must admit I’m a little ambivalent.  In some ways it was one of the worst years I can remember.  In others, It was one of the best.  When I think back to those dark days after Mini SGCC’s accident and her struggle to recovery, I cringe.  It was a long, scary road.  But, she made it!  And when I relive her graduation day, six months later, as she walked down the aisle to accept her diploma – I beam with pride. 

Our little family has seen some big changes in the past twelve months.  Mini SGCC has gone off to college, and Mr. SGCC and I are now empty-nesters.  When we said our goodbyes last August outside of her tiny cozy little dorm room, I cried.  I cried through the whole three and a half hour drive home too.  And also for a solid week after that.  In fact, I’m crying now just thinking about it!  For eighteen years, Mini SGCC was my raison d’etre.  She is my sun, my moon and my stars.  For the longest time I didn’t know what to do with myself without her.  But, I’m figuring it out. 

Blogging became very different for me as well.  With just Mr. SGCC and me at home, there didn’t seem to be much reason to cook or bake the way I used to.  Not that Mini SGCC ever ate that much, because she actually eats like a bird.  But before, there were always poor, hungry teenagers sniffing around, ready to pounce as I took a freshly baked pan of brownies out of the oven.  I suppose that now, they’re sniffing someone else’s brownies.   Spending all that time in the kitchen just kind of seemed like a waste for just the two of us.  And, with a brand new Trader Joe’s practically across the street, it was oh, so easy to let them do my menu planning.   So, I got complacent, uninspired…and a little lazy.   Truth be told,  2012 plumb exhausted me – both physically and mentally.       

But, that was last year.  This year is going to be different, and I’m raring to go!   That’s the great thing about a bright, shiny, new year.  You can leave the past behind, regroup and start fresh.   So, watch out, people!  I’m revving up my Kitchenaid, sharpening my knives and looking forward to sharing lots of great food with you in 2013! 

In the meantime, I’ve put together a list of my favorite recipes from the past year.  Enjoy! 


There’s nothing fancy about this Cauliflower Soup, but there is brilliance in its simplicity. With only five ingredients, none of which are butter or cream, it is smooth and velvety with a bright, fresh and pure cauliflower flavor.


When the thermometer tells me that it’s muy caliente  outside, sipping on this zesty Bloody Mary Gazpacho helps me stay as cool as a cucumber!.   Chock full of fresh, ripe tomatoes and veggies, this soup is like a spicy liquid salad in a bowl!


This Super Luscious Homemade Ricotta one of the easiest, yet most versatile recipes in my culinary arsenal.  I use it in everything from  pasta to pastries to a simple spread for toast or muffins.  It’s rich and creamy and infinitely better than anything that comes out of a plastic tub!


Cheesy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms are the perfect little self-contained, bite-sized, party food package.   Infused with Marsala wine and three different kinds of cheese, these gems will make any guest happy!


I thought I loved the Swedish meatballs from IKEA, until I tried this recipe from Marcus Samuelsson.  Let me just come right out and say it.  His Swedish Meatballs are the bomb!    IKEA had better watch out. I’m just sayin’. Chef Samuelsson says the recipe is his grandmother’s, and in this case Grandma definitely knows best! 


I’d wanted to try my hand at making David Chang’s legendary Steamed Pork Buns for ages, but I was too intimidated by the lengthy recipe.  When a gorgeous slab of pork belly found its way into my hands,I ran out of excuses.  And, when I finally made those delectable pork buns, I wondered why the heck I waited so long! 


These meltingly soft, falling-off-the-bone tender Osso Bucco-Style Braised Short Ribs are the stuff dreams are made of.  They have been known to bring grown men to their knees.  In fact, I’m still scraping Mr. SGCC off of the floor! 


These white and dark chocolate Pots de Crème are a silky, luxurious and almost sinful indulgence.  Made with just a few basic, high quality ingredients, they are a testament to the adage that less is more.


Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups are chocolate-covered culinary crack – plain and simple. You MUST make them.  That. Is. All.


If you thought that your well-used, trusty old cast iron skillet was only good for frying bacon and eggs –  think again!   This insanely good Skillet Caramel Apple Pie is proof that a cast iron skillet also makes a great baking pan for pies, cakes  and other sweet treats.   The crust is flaky and buttery, and the filling is soft and melty – just like a great  apple pie should be.

9 responses to The SGCC Top Ten Recipe List of 2012

  1. On December 31, 2012 at 6:01pm, Marie said...

    Your food is always so inticing but seriously Susan those short ribs are beyond words! I want to dive into that photo! Happy New year!!

  2. On December 31, 2012 at 7:29pm, Rosa said...

    Lovely recipes!

    Best wishes for 2013.



  3. On December 31, 2012 at 7:46pm, Foodiewife said...

    I love every single one of these recipes. It’s good to be reminded of the ricotta. That’s something I want to add to my recipe bucket list. OMG on the Speculoos Butter cups. Whoa! Happy New Year. Thanks for one year of drool worthy recipes. You rock, mama!

  4. On December 31, 2012 at 8:07pm, Cynthia L. said...

    You have pulled together a great bunch of recipes. I can’t figure out which is my favorite! I have pinned them and hope to try most of them!

  5. On January 01, 2013 at 9:06am, Kevin @ Closet Cooking said...

    What a tasty year! I still need to make those pork belly buns!

  6. On January 01, 2013 at 9:04pm, Jayne said...

    Love everything on this list. I’m going to attempt that pots de creme.

  7. On January 02, 2013 at 7:14am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I was toying with the idea of doing a top 10 from 2012, but I don’t think I made 10 recipes that I liked that much last year. My goal for 2013 should be to come up with some stuff that’s worthy of a top 10 list.

    I’d eat your top 10 3 times over!

  8. On January 02, 2013 at 7:50pm, Taylor Griffin said...

    anxious to try Samuelson’s swedish meatballs as my recipe is ages old (but very, very good)& its
    a tradition to serve them Christmas eve….it’ll be on the menu for next week

  9. On January 19, 2013 at 7:58am, Lori said...

    I just discovered your blog this morning while searching for carrot cake recipes….what a delightful surprise! You seem like a woman after my own heart…and palate. I will be visiting often and DEFINITELY making the Swedish meatballs and braised short ribs!!!!

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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